Photo: Tom Shaw/Getty Images
The US men’s national team plays a key World Cup qualifying match against Antigua & Barbuda tonight.The game will be held in Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on the island of Antigua, which seats 10,000 and will be completely sold out, according to ESPN.
Around 81,000 people live on the island, so in a very literal way, the country (a full 12% of it) will stop to watch this game tonight.
Despite the US having a massive advantage in population and infrastructure over its competitors, the national team has faltered a bit in World Cup qualifying.
The US is tied with Jamaica and Guatemala with two games left in qualifying, and only two of the three teams will reach the next round.
The problems for the US have come on almost exclusive in road games like they face tonight — where under the pressure of hostile environments and horribly-manicured fields, they’ve slumped to a tie in Guatemala and a loss in Jamaica.
FIFA ranks Antigua & Barbuda as the 106th-best team in the world, so the US is a heavy favourite to win tonight.
But going into these small Caribbean countries is always harder than it looks on paper, especially when a solid chunk of the entire country’s population comes out to cheer against you.
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